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Rhetorical Appeals - Case Study Example

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The art of rhetoric / persuasive writing entails a careful use and arrangement of words, which results in persuading the readers in accepting and endorsing the ideas put forward by the writer. The process of such effective communication was introduced and explained by the Greek…
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Rhetorical Appeals
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Rhetorical Appeals

Download file to see previous pages... The letter written by Martin Luther King, from a Birmingham Jail, uses all these types of appeals, listed above, in order to convince the reader regarding the validity and credibility of his ideas and actions. The same are discussed and highlighted below:
Ethos: Ethos is primarily used to indicate and highlight the good character and credibility of the writer. In this letter, Martin Luther King, has very aptly and effectively highlighted his body of work, thus indicating his authority on the subject and successfully justifying his stance on the issue on hand.
"I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates"
Pathos: This form of speech is used as an artistic proof of the facts mentioned by the writer, and banks on the readers’ emotions and feelings as a method of persuasion. The following is the example of pathos, as applied by Martin Luther King in his letter:
“Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.”
The skillful use of the three key elements, viz-a-viz, ethos, pathos and logos, by the writer, helped in highlighting the ideas and offer valid justification for the course of action chosen, and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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